First off guys, I am not super happy about posting this. When I first saw the deer, it was BIG in the woods, facing me directly. I don't know how many of you have ever hunted thick pine forests and have had deer standing under 50 yards from you. For though that have been in this situation, deer look a lot better than from a distance.
<span style="font-weight: bold">I</span> took to the high ground and made a large circle of the area in hopes of cutting the deer off. There ended up being Three deer spread out through that bowl that had four different " fingers" leading through the mountain we were on.
<span style="font-style: italic">I ran into them! I was getting ready to drop down into one of those fingers that runs between the mountain when I looked to my left and spotted a big eared muley doe to the my left at 35 yards. I cocked the hammer, set the hair trigger, took a couple deep breathes and then took aim and squeezed the trigger and that .58cal Hawken belched a beautiful cloud of white Goex smoke into the early morning breeze!</span>
My Hawken was loaded with the same exact load I've been practicing for months now.
100 grains Goex 2f
.570" round ball that I cast my self
Mink Oil patch lube
Remington #11 percussion cap
Once I spotted the deer, I slowly got a hold of my breath, talked myself through the process and carefully pulled my trigger while pulling back on the lock to quietly set the lock into full cock position without it having to make that distinct CLICK. I took my time setting the trigger as quietly as I could as well and then slowly dropped to one knee, took aim on the deers chest and squeezed the trigger.
Once the white cloud slowly blew away in the morning breeze, I saw the deer twitching 35 yards ahead of me. I got up and reloaded, taking my time and watching the deer to make sure it wasn't going to get up and run while I was distracted with reloading my Hawken.
In the end the deer turned out to be a very young antlerless male. Perfectly legal to shoot mind you but the ground shrinkage killed me. Had I had a broad side shot, I would have seen the size of it and let it pass.
I am not one to just walk away from a deer I shot just because it wasn't the size I had been expecting to take. Meat is meat and there's no way in [censored] I was going to disgrace the animal and leave it after I took its life.
A very young deer but it will be welcomed at the dinner table throughout the winter months.
When we got home, my brother and I were cutting it into steaks, burger and roasts. He was cutting the rear leg up and said, Why the [censored] is the rear leg bone busted? Then he laughed and said, You won't believe what I found!
The balls I cast weigh between 277 - 278.8 grains. When I weighed this recovered ball, it was 272.2 grains! Not bad for going through all but 4 ribs lengthwise and through the leg bone! Well over 2 feet of penetration.
A great season for us in the 2014 books! I know I shot a young'n but the best thing to do is enjoy the memories and especially the gift the little deer gave us.